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Improving the Selective Neonatal BCG Program


Abigail L. Wroe, Department of Public Health, Bromley Primary Care Trust, 11-12 Ashtree Close, Broadwater Gardens, Farnborough, Kent BR7 6UA, U.K. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objectives: The aim of the work was to develop and implement an improved selective neonatal Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine program in which neonates are systematically assessed, and those identified as at “high risk of being exposed to tuberculosis” are given neonatal BCG.

Design: Service models used in other parts of the country were assessed and their limitations and difficulties were carefully considered. Possible service models for local use were then considered. A selective neonatal BCG program involving universal neonatal screening was implemented.

Sample: A program was implemented offering BCG to high-risk neonates.

Results: As has been the case with other health trusts, developing a new neonatal BCG service met with obstacles and hurdles. Means of overcoming some of the difficulties are presented. Preliminary findings regarding the service model, including neonatal BCG uptake rates, were positive.

Conclusion: A successful neonatal BCG program was implemented.